Tewell Garners Legendary Victory
Tewell shot 2-under 70 to finish the tournament at 11-under 205, one stroke better than Bobby Wadkins, who made a late run with a 66 in the final round.
Stewart Ginn shot 72 to tie with Bob Gilder (70) for third at 8-under.
Tewell, 52, won for the second time this season, joining Tom Kite and Hale Irwin as multiple winners this season.
Tewell has two senior major championships to his name and is the most accurate driver on the Senior Tour (86 percent). He only improved the numbers over three days on The King & The Bear course at World Golf Village.
He hit all 14 fairways Sunday and finished the tournament hitting 41 of 42. The only one he missed came Friday at No. 7, when he hooked a drive to the left.
'It was in the first cut of rough,' Tewell recalled. 'No big deal.'
In the final round, Tewell trailed Ginn by one stroke heading into the par-5 13th hole.
But the lead flip-flopped when Tewell made a 10-footer for birdie, and Ginn missed from 8 feet to save par, a putt set up when he overcooked his approach on the second shot and had to make a tough shot to get on the green.
Ginn, who played with Tewell on both Saturday and Sunday, said he never got discouraged, even though Tewell didn't miss a fairway either day.
'I knew what I had to do to beat him,' Ginn said. 'I went for it. I didn't back off. If he makes birdies, he makes birdies. You've got to go out there and golf your golf ball.'
Proving how much easier this game is when you're constantly playing from the fairway, Tewell also hit 47 of 54 greens in regulation over the three days.
'That's my golf game,' he said. 'I try not to make a lot of mistakes. I don't make a lot of mistakes. That's why when I get in the lead, sometimes I'm able to go ahead and win big.'
Although this wasn't a big victory, it was a consistent performance, and the result wasn't really in doubt as Tewell made his way through the final four holes.
On the par-3 14th, he put his tee shot 18 inches from the hole for birdie to go to 11-under and take a two-stroke lead.
Wadkins, playing three groups ahead, made birdie on No. 18 to pull within one, but Tewell finished with four straight pars. When he tapped in on No. 18 for the championship, he doffed his cap and waved to the small crowd to celebrate his sixth career victory on the Senior Tour.
Tewell earned $306,000, bringing his career earnings on tour to $3.99 million.
'I knew Doug wasn't going to play a sloppy round, so I just went out and tried to improve my position,' Wadkins said.
Also in the hunt was Gary McCord, who was one stroke behind the leaders until he knocked his second shot off the rocks and into the water on the par-4 15th. He made bogey on his way to a 70 and a fifth-place finish at 7-under.
'Greedy, greedy, greedy got me right there,' McCord said of the shot on No. 15. 'I hit it hard, but slid under it a little bit. It's just a bad shot.'
News, Notes and Numbers
*Irwin blew his chance for a win with a double-bogey on No. 12 that pushed him from three strokes of the lead to five. He finished tied for sixth.
*Proving golf isn't always pretty, Fuzzy Zoeller nearly fell on his backside after blasting out of a bunker from an awkward stance on the 10th hole. He got big applause from a curious gallery, which had to rubberneck to watch the shot from across the 12th fairway.
*Officials are considering several options that would relocate the Legends of Golf, the tournament credited with spawning the Senior Tour. This was the fourth straight year the tournament has been played at the World Golf Village, and attendance - while not officially listed - has been light.
Full-field scores from the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf
After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time
Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.
On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...
Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).
Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.
It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard
On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...
There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.
He sure looks like the real deal, though.
His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.
Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner
Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2
With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.
He picked up one more No. 2, too.
The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.
In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.
Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.
“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”
Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.
Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.
He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.
Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title
Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.
Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.
His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.
“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."
Tom Brady, postgame, on wearing the wrap on his hand: “I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that. It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament.”— Ryan Lavner (@RyanLavnerGC) January 22, 2018
Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.
Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.
Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder
Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:
Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)
What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.
Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.
Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.
Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.
Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.
Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:
Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry